Feeling stuck is the worst. It can come in the form of knowing in your gut (or heart – whichever is your center) there is more you want to do and you just can’t figure out the way to do it.

Or you’ve got a tornado of words and ideas spinning in your head but articulating them into something that others would understand seems as difficult as learning a foreign language overnight.

Maybe you’ve got 80 percent of your idea/thing/campaign figured out but that last 20 percent might as well be 20,000 percent because of how illusive it is to you now.

Or, maybe you’ve simply lost all of your motivation completely and are just going through the day without any sparks of creativity or inspiration. You want them to come, but they don’t and so you just feel defeated and continue on with the day, changing nothing and continuing to feel stuck.

Any of these scenarios sound familiar? (Come on, I know it’s not just me.) Well as ugh-inducing as being stuck can be, I’ve recently employed a behavior shift you can make TODAY that will get you unstuck as it did for me.

Unsticking Your Creativity

It’s all based on this concept:

Create before you consume.

While I cannot take credit for these four simple words of wisdom (Thanks Marie Forleo!), I can fully attest to their effectiveness. Our world is full of content designed to attract us for education, inspiration or simple entertainment.

Between the thousands upon thousands of TV channels, umpteen streaming services, emails (oh emails🤦🏻‍♀️) and the constantly expanding world of social media, there are messages EVERYWHERE from other people. (This one included!) These messages can be wonderful additions to your life or horrible creative sucks that only accentuate the stuck state you find yourself in.

Some may recommend cutting the cord or deleting your social media accounts are the key to inner peace, but quite frankly, I like television and I love social media. I didn’t want to get rid of them, but I 100% needed to find a way to get my creative juices flowing and the words out of my head and back on pages, the lack of which had become beyond frustrating for this writer.

So rather than cutting yourself off  from any content you enjoy, or need in order to run your business/life (I’m looking at you email) I encourage you to follow Marie’s recommendation as I have and put up some boundaries on this.

The Life Hack I Learned from My Ex

For me, that equates to one of the best tricks a former beau taught me: airplane mode.

Every night before bed he turned his phone onto airplane mode. No dings, messages, screen lighting up or even the prospect of such activities, and therefore a more alert brain, would get in the way of his sleep. The result: he slept like a baby and so do I since I started this practice about two years ago.

I turn my phone onto airplane mode when I’m winding down for the night and leave it that way until the next day. To get unstuck though, I had to take it a step further and keep airplane mode on  until after I’ve created something new. (No more email checking or social scrolling while laying in bed.)

The bar for that “something” started pretty low at first with just one page of writing in my journal, a daily practice I had loved then gotten away from because, again, it required me to create and I felt stuck for words.

I hit a wall with my own stuck-ness though and in order get unstuck, I needed to start again. Just start small.  One little page of thoughts, musings or even a list. Oh how I love a list! That list could be what you are grateful to have (remembering what you do have is a wonderful antidote what you don’t – i.e. creativity), a list of goals for your business, or five year plan for life if you’re super Type A.

My Results

After just two days of this practice, my mind started to expand and my creativity poured out. I got unstuck! Some days that creativity is a single caption for a social media post I want to share on my business accounts. Other days it’s a full article, such as this one, that’ll hopefully make someone else’s personal or professional life a little easier by sharing my experiences. And other times it’s zero business at all and 10+ pages of random free thinking written in my journal.

The point is to get something new from your head into the world and this happens a lot easier when the world has a limit on being able to reach you. Airplane mode gives your brain the space to create because there are outside influences. (i.e. email, other people’s social creations, text messages needing your attention, etc.)

Give your brain the space it needs to create and it’ll get unstuck.


Channing Muller is an award winning marketing & public relations consultant and the principal of DCM Communications, based out of Chicago. She works with event professionals and business owners to grow and scale their businesses with refined marketing strategies developed through one-on-one and group consulting, customized marketing programs and public relations. She has been named a "25 Young Event Pro to Watch" by Special Events magazine and "40 Under 40" by Connect Meetings. Channing is an avid runner, lover of Labrador Retrievers, good food, delicious drinks, and an advocate for the American Heart Association.

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